Maj Ronald Iduuli has been awarded Shs 700 million in compensation for lost income after he was forcefully retired from the army two years ago.
The award is Shs 300 million short of what Maj Iduuli had sought for after he dragged the attorney general, the chief of personnel and administration, and the deputy chief of legal services in the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) to court challenging his forced retirement from the armed forces.
Iduuli, 43, joined the army in 1998 as a cadet officer, before becoming a lawyer attached to the General Court Martial. He served as a tank commander during the UPDF offensive against the rebel ADF in Congo and as a tank company commander in Operation Iron Fist against the LRA rebel group in northern Uganda.
He served as a defence lawyer at the General Court Martial from 2014 to July 25, 2016. He submitted to court that he was retired from the army without referring to either an instrument from either the Commander-in-Chief or a message from the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF).
Iduuli says that he was unfairly retired from service on a misrepresentation that he had voluntarily applied for retirement whereas not, yet he had also not attained the mandatory retirement age. In his application to court, Iduuli demanded for pension, payment of untaken leave since 1998, unpaid housing allowances for the years spent in military service and unpaid transport allowances.
He also sought for general and punitive damages for lost income from the time of retirement until when he would have attained retirement age, with an interest of 24 per cent per annum from the date of retirement till payment in full and costs of the suit.
According to affidavits sworn in by Brig George Igumba, the chief of personnel and administration of the UPDF, Iduuli disobeyed lawful orders when he refused to attend the junior staff and command course and instead opted to retire voluntarily from the army.
Igumba said that Iduuli was not directed to vacate the office of the defence counsel at the General Court Martial but another lawyer was appointed by the CDF to beef up manpower and enhance efficiency in the said office.
State prosecutor Genevieve Kampiire had asked the court to dismiss the application arguing that Maj Iduuli filed it in bad faith.
But in a judgment delivered on Friday, Justice Margaret Oumo Oguli stated that Maj Iduuli's dismissal from the army was illegal, unconstitutional and malicious. She said that a letter dated August 17, 2016, nominating Maj Iduuli for a junior command and staff course was fake.
Court ruled that Maj Iduuli will now receive a sum of Shs 28 million to cover his unremitted gratuity, Shs 6 million as unpaid pension and Shs 538 million as lost income. He will also take a payment of Shs 90 million to compensate for stress inconvenience, humiliation, embarrassment and psychological torture he has gone through since his wrongful retirement.
Court further awarded him aggravated damages of Shs 50 million which will attract an interest of 20 percent per annum from the date of judgment until payment is paid in full.
However, Justice Oguli declined to offer him compensation for transport and housing allowances on grounds that Iduuli didn't provide with receipts of the money spent travelling and had no tenancy agreement to prove to the court how he has been sleeping and moving.
Iduuli was involved in the botched treason trial of Gen David Sejusa and the stalled treason trial of Nakawa municipality MP Michael Kabaziguruka.